Tufts, University of Maryland study suggests they may even reverse some behavioral deficits.
A recent study by researchers from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and University of Maryland Baltimore County, suggests berries will protect the aged brain and reverse some behavioral deficits by helping the brain reduce toxic accumulation. Among fruits, berries are the most nutrient-dense and considered by many to be "superfoods". The study looked at the neurochemical changes in the brain, in particular what is known as autophagy, which can regulate the synthesis, degradation and recycling of cellular components including the removal accumulations.
Phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. Some are responsible for color and other plant properties. The term is generally used to refer to those chemicals that may have biological significance, for example antioxidants, but are not established as essential nutrients. Scientists estimate that there may be as many as 10,000 different phytochemicals having the potential to affect diseases such as cancer, stroke or metabolic syndrome.
"Although there is no RDA for these compounds, they are essential to our health," say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the books TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH) and The TurboCharged Mind (January 2012, BSH). "It is important to regularly eat a large variety of leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables and fruits, especially berries. The nutrients found in plants are essential to life. Try to include some berries in your diet every day; the more variety over a week, month and year the better. Buying in your local season is best, but berries are always in-season somewhere around the world, and with today's advanced transport services they are readily available year-round."
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